Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sahm the Mahn

One of the best things about starting a blog like this where I showcase a particular style of music, however narrowly or broadly defined, is that friends and strangers want to suggest certain artists that they think fit the bill. Sometimes I might already be on the same page and I might be planning to get to these nominations, but in other cases, I get schooled in the best possible way. For instance Dave's contributions of Ramblin' Jack Elliot and John Martyn were eye-openers and jaw-droppers and I'm glad that WWW made that possible. (aside: that's crazy, I just remembered a dream I had last night where I was in a small bar and a very old, but living John Martyn was performing in his charismatic style)

Today's artist is an introduction from my good friend Brad who considers San Antonio a home away from home, namely for its enchiladas and Doug Sahm. Even before I started WWW he raved about Sahm and having not enough music-listening hours in the day, it went in one ear and out the other. Actually, I remember that my dad had his classic Atlantic record released as "Doug Sahm and Band" but listening to it a dozen years back in passing, it must not have been my style at the time. After a recent road trip with Brad I became convinced that I really did need Doug Sahm's music in my life and I went out and got the below "best of" comp.

For a compilation that covers only 7 years of a thirty-year career, this CD is mind-blowingly diverse in its approach to music, all anchored by Sahm's plaintive vocals and eclectic mix of instruments. Hailing from San Antonio, Sahm brings his native tejano style to his unique brand of pop music. This comp. focuses on his prime hippy/country-rock years, the first several when he was living out in the Bay Area and feeding off and feeding into the burgeoning music scene in San Francisco. Towards the end of this comp.'s timeline Sahm had transplanted himself into the now-legendary 1970s singer-songwriter scene based out of Austin, TX.

The three songs here are an interesting side-story to Sahm's career when he recorded a couple of fairly straight-ahead country tunes to be released under the name "Wayne Douglas" as his attempt to cross-over into the country scene. Recorded in Nashville and released on Mercury as a 45 "Be Real" and "I Don't Want to go Home" was Sahm's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo". Listening to these tunes and the other tracks on the CD and a record I recently scored ("Texas Tornado" on Atlantic) I can say that Sahm was more country than a whole flock of Byrds.

Wayne Douglas - I Wanna Be Your Mama Again (previously unreleased version)

Wayne Douglas - I Don't Want To Go Home

Wayne Douglas - Be Real

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